No match for Wa­iakea

War­riors fin­ish un­de­feated; HPA tops Hilo in boys fi­nal

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS - By RICK WIN­TERS

KEAUHOU — When it comes to BIIF post­sea­son play, strat­egy and a pinch of luck are usu­ally the key in­gre­di­ents in claim­ing a team ten­nis cham­pi­onship.

The rea­son for this is sim­ple. In high school ten­nis, teams are al­lowed to move any player any­where in the line. This means a coach can take their best No. 1 sin­gles player and play them in the se­cond sin­gles slot or even pair them with an­other player to com­plete in one of the three dou­bles matches.

The coach that can out-think, out-ma­neu­ver or just out-guess his op­po­nent will usu­ally lead a team to vic­tory.

Play­ing at the Holua Ten­nis Cen­ter in Keauhou on Satur­day, the Wa­iakea girls and the Hawaii Prep boys proved to have the best strat­egy and skill to claim team ti­tles.

Sun­day Chicago White Sox (TBD) at Min­nesota (TBD), ppd. Bal­ti­more (Bundy 0-1) at Bos­ton (Sale 1-0), 7:05 a.m. N.Y. Yan­kees (Sev­erino 2-1) at Detroit (Liri­ano 1-1), 7:10 a.m., 1st game Philadelphia (Lively 0-1) at Tampa Bay (TBD), 7:10 a.m. Toronto (Garcia 1-0) at Cleveland (Klu­ber 1-1), 7:10 a.m. L.A. An­gels (Oh­tani 2-0) at Kan­sas City (Skoglund 0-1), 8:15 a.m. Oak­land (Manaea 1-2) at Seat­tle (Her­nan­dez 2-1), 10:10 a.m. N.Y. Yan­kees (Cessa 0-0) at Detroit (Boyd 0-1), 1:10 p.m., 2nd game Texas (Colon 0-0) at Hous­ton (Ver­lan­der 2-0), 2:08 p.m. NA­TIONAL LEAGUE East Di­vi­sion 11 2 .846 -Philadelphia 8 5 .615 3 8 6 .571 3½ 7 8 .467 5 4 10 .286 7½ Cen­tral Di­vi­sion Pitts­burgh 10 4 .714 8 7 .533 St. Louis 8 7 .533 Chicago 7 7 .500 Cincin­nati 2 12 .143 West Di­vi­sion 11 3 .786 -Colorado 8 8 .500 4 6 8 .429 5 6 10 .375 6 4 9 .308 6½ Satur­day Washington 6, Colorado 2 St. Louis 6, Cincin­nati 1 Chicago Cubs 14, At­lanta 10 Philadelphia 9, Tampa Bay 4 Mil­wau­kee 5, N.Y. Mets 1 Pitts­burgh 1, Mi­ami 0 San Diego 5, San Fran­cisco 4 Ari­zona 9, L.A. Dodgers 1

Sun­day Mil­wau­kee (Chacin 0-1) at N.Y. Mets (Syn­der­gaard 2-0), 7:10 a.m. Philadelphia (Lively 0-1) at Tampa Bay (TBD), 7:10 a.m. Pitts­burgh (Nova 1-1) at Mi­ami (Urena 0-2), 7:10 a.m. St. Louis (Martinez 1-1) at Cincin­nati (Bai­ley 0-2), 7:10 a.m. Colorado (An­der­son 0-0) at Washington (Stras­burg 2-1), 7:35 a.m. At­lanta (Te­heran 0-1) at Chicago Cubs (Chat­wood 0-2), 8:20 a.m. Ari­zona (God­ley 2-0) at L.A. Dodgers (Ker­shaw 0-2), 10:10 a.m. San Fran­cisco (Beede 0-0) at San Diego (Luc­ch­esi 1-0), 10:10 a.m. New York At­lanta Washington Mi­ami Ari­zona San Fran­cisco San Diego Los Angeles -Mil­wau­kee 2½ 2½ 3 8

NBA play­off glance

FIRST ROUND (Best-of-7; x-if nec­es­sary) Satur­day Golden State 113, San An­to­nio 92, Golden State leads se­ries 1-0 Toronto 114, Washington 106, Toronto leads se­ries 1-0 Philadelphia 130, Mi­ami 103, Philadelphia leads se­ries 1-0 New Or­leans 97, Port­land 95, New Or­leans leads se­ries 1-0 Sun­day Mil­wau­kee at Bos­ton, 7 a.m. In­di­ana at Cleveland, 9:30 a.m. Utah at Ok­la­homa City, 12:30 p.m. Min­nesota at Hous­ton, 3 p.m.

NHL play­off glance

FIRST ROUND (Best-of-7; x-if nec­es­sary) Thurs­day Columbus 4, Washington Columbus leads se­ries 1-0 Fri­day Philadelphia 5, Pitts­burgh 1, se­ries tied 1-1 Win­nipeg 4, Min­nesota 1, Win­nipeg leads se­ries 2-0 Ve­gas 2, Los Angeles 1, 2OT, Ve­gas leads se­ries 2-0 Satur­day Tampa Bay 5, New Jersey 3, Tampa Bay leads se­ries 2-0 Nashville 5, Colorado 4, Nashville leads se­ries 2-0 Bos­ton 7, Toronto 3, Bos­ton leads se­ries 2-0 San Jose 3, Ana­heim 2, San Jose leads se­ries 2-0 Sun­day Pitts­burgh at Philadelphia, 9 a.m. Win­nipeg at Min­nesota, 1 p.m. Columbus at Washington, 1:30 p.m. Ve­gas at Los Angeles, 4:30 p.m. 3, OT,

BASE­BALL Amer­i­can League BAL­TI­MORE ORI­OLES -- Re­called RHP Alex Cobb from Bowie (EL). Placed 2B Jonathan Schoop on 10-day DL. OAK­LAND A’S -- Re­called RHP Ryan Dull from Nashville (PCL) and activated him from the 10-day DL. Placed RHP Liam Hen­driks on 10-day DL. SEAT­TLE MARINERS -- Activated DH Nel­son Cruz from the 10-day DL. Op­tioned RHP Casey Lawrence to Ta­coma (PCL).

Na­tional League CINCIN­NATI REDS -- Re­in­stated LHP Bran­don Fin­negan from the 10-day DL. Op­tioned RHP Zack Weiss to Louisville (IL). PITTS­BURGH PIRATES -- Claimed LHP Enny Romero off waivers from Washington. SAN DIEGO PADRES -- Claimed LHP Tyler Webb off waivers from Mil­wau­kee and as­signed him to El Paso (PCL). Trans­ferred RHP Dinel­son Lamet to the 60-day DL.

COLLEGE MICHI­GAN -- Ju­nior C Moe Wag­ner an­nounced he is en­ter­ing the NBA draft. NEW MEX­ICO -- An­nounced sopho­more G Keith McGee is trans­fer­ring from South Plains College.

RBC Her­itage

At Har­bour Town, Hilt. Head, S.C. Yardage: 7,099; Par 71 Third Round Ian Poul­ter 69-64-67--200 Luke List 70-64-67--201 Si Woo Kim 68-65-68--201 C.T. Pan 70-65-67--202 Billy Horschel 66-69-67--202

For Wa­iakea, this is the se­cond cham­pi­onship in a row af­ter the team once again cruised through the reg­u­lar sea­son un­de­feated. The team did not run into much trou­ble dur­ing the team cham­pi­onships ei­ther. The War­riors de­feated Hawaii Prep in the semi­fi­nals 5-0 and then swept Hilo in the cham­pi­onship match.

“It is re­ally about the luck of the draw and how you set the matches up on the match draw sheet,” said Wa­iakea head coach Bill Bril­hante. “In the semi­fi­nals we had a hunch that HPA was go­ing to move their players around be­cause we felt they did not have the fire­power to match us straight up. We an­tic­i­pated what they would do and we were lucky that it ended up go­ing the way we wanted.”

Hawaii Prep coach Jeff Lewis knew his team was in trou­ble once the match sheet was set.

“I was hop­ing we could pull out some­thing against Wa­iakea but the lineup went as bad as it could pos­si­bly go for us,” Lewis said. “It would have been tough ei­ther way against a tough team like that, but the na­ture of this tour­na­ment is that coaches can put their players any­where they want, so it is al­ways a guess­ing game.”

In the cham­pi­onship match, the War­riors did not let off the throt­tle, and they were aided by a de­fault on Hilo in the No. 2 sin­gles slot. Given the edge of a 1-0 lead at the start, Wa­iakea swept ev­ery match in two sets.

“We have a deep team and that is what you re­ally need to have for this style of tour­na­ment,” Bril­hante said. “En­ter­ing this tour­na­ment, the girls had a goal of fin­ish­ing the sea­son with an un­blem­ished record and they are al­most there. Ev­ery­one stepped up today.”

It was not com­pletely smooth sail­ing for the War­riors, who had to com­pete on Satur­day with­out Ali­cia Chun, a mem­ber of their No. 1 dou­bles tan­dem with Keilyn Ku­ni­moto, who was on Oahu for a school event.

To fill the void, Bril­hante dropped his No. 2 sin­gles player, Maya At­wal, to dou­bles to play with Ku­ni­moto — and the pair went on to win their No. 2 dou­bles match against Hilo’s Jade Rivera and Alyssa Oka­mura in straight sets 6-0, 6-0.

“The goal was to win at least three matches and we wanted to keep that team strong,” Bril­hante said. “It worked out re­ally well.”

Play­ing out of the No. 1 sin­gles slot for Wa­iakea was Kris­ten Ends, who de­feated Hilo’s Kaimana Reyes 6-1, 6-0. Meghan Na­gai picked up the de­fault vic­tory in the No. 2 sin­gles slot.

Chloe Ter­amoto and Miya Yanag­i­sawa won their No. 3 dou­bles match for Wa­iakea, de­feat­ing the Vik­ings’ Sa­man­tha Chung and Jen­nifer Kamimura 6-0, 6-1.

The fi­nal match to fin­ish in the ti­tle tilt was the most com­pet­i­tive and fea­tured both No. 1 sin­gles players from Hilo and Wa­iakea. For the War­riors, Maile Bril­hante teamed with fresh­man Jade Ishimine to de­feat the Vik­ings pair­ing of Casydee DeMat­tos and Riza Mae Ra­banzo 7-5, 6-0.

“I knew go­ing in it was go­ing to be a close match be­cause we were play­ing Casydee and she is their No. 1 sin­gles player,” said Maile Bril­hante, who is no stranger to dou­bles play while com­pet­ing in USTA tour­na­ments through­out the year. “I just wanted this to be fun for Jade and I, and it was.” af­ter los­ing to Hilo ear­lier in the sea­son, but coach Jeff Lewis knew that he had not used his strong­est lineup. Dur­ing the cham­pi­onships match at Holua, he had a chance to do that and the re­sult was what he was hop­ing for, a nar­row 3-2 vic­tory over the Vik­ings, who had to set­tle for a pair of se­cond place fin­ishes on the day.

“The boys were ex­pected to do well and they were all good, close matches,” Lewis said. “The boys were able to beat Kon­awaena pretty con­vinc­ingly in the semi­fi­nals and they used our de­ci­sion mak­ing as a way to come to­gether as a team.”

Ka Makani was led by Ryo Mi­nakata. With the shuf­fling of the line­ups, Mi­nakata, one of the best players in the state, played out of the No. 2 sin­gles slot and rolled through Hilo’s Elisha Watkins 6-0, 6-0.

One of Mi­nakata’s main ri­vals in the BIIF the past two sea­sons, Hilo’s Gil Assi, played in the No. 1 dou­bles slot with Li Aki and the pair de­feated the Hawaii Prep team of Andy Lee and Ethan James 6-0, 6-0 to tie the match.

Ka Makani and the Vik­ings also split matches at No. 2 and No. 3 dou­bles. Hawaii Prep picked up the vic­tory in the se­cond dou­bles slot when the team of Hayden Virtue and Ethan Goore beat Brad Naka­mura and Zachary Kamiyama 7-5, 6-3. The Hilo tan­dem of Luke Ha­mano and Ryan Liu de­feated Ka Makani’s Zane Will­man and Rex Lin 6-0, 6-0 in the third slot.

The match then came down to the No. 1 sin­gles match, where Hawaii Prep’s David Welch-Keli­ihoomalu could feel the pres­sure mount­ing as he tried to put away Hilo’s Cole Gard­ner. Welch-Keli­ihoomalu went down early as he at­tempted to force win­ner af­ter win­ner, but he fi­nally set­tled down to take the first set 6-4.

“I was re­ally ner­vous early on but I was able to put it to­gether thanks to the sup­port of my team­mates, who told me to take deep breaths to help me stay calm,” Welch-Keli­ihoomalu said. “In my side view, I could tell that the match was com­ing down to me be­cause I started see­ing peo­ple walk­ing to the hill to watch me. I then started to hear more and more yelling, and the match got more in­tense.”

Welch-Keli­ihoomalu, who had not played a sin­gles match this sea­son, man­aged to keep it to­gether and played bet­ter in the se­cond set thanks to some of the ad­vice and tech­niques he was taught by Mi­nakata.

“Ryo helped me pre­pare for my sin­gles matches and I was able to use his tech­niques for hitting the ball back con­sis­tently,” WelchKeli­ihoomalu said. “At the end of the first set I had fig­ured out my strat­egy of how to beat (Gard­ner) and I was able to pull through.”

Welch-Keli­ihoomalu put away his Hilo op­po­nent in the se­cond set 6-2 to claim the team ti­tle for Hawaii Prep.

“When it was over I just felt all the stress go away. I was re­ally re­lieved that I won,” Welch-Keli­ihoomalu said. “Ev­ery­one ran to me and they were chant­ing my name and I just felt re­ally happy in that mo­ment.”

HPA’s David Welch-Keli­ihoomalu re­turns a fore­hand shot. Welch-Keli­ihoomalu won his No. 1 sin­gles match with Hilo’s Cole Gard­ner

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